Our mission is to identify and address the barriers to self-sufficiency and we know that low-income women are going to be disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Your Women’s Fund is more active than ever, and we are taking a leadership role in responding to the needs of our community. We want to use this space to share how we have been mobilized.
This is how we have already activated our team:
- Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati have activated a coalition of philanthropy, government and business partners to create the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. The Women’s Fund is joining forces with our GCF colleagues to rapidly deploy these resources to our neighbors most in need and the organizations that serve them.
- Yesterday, thanks to our partnership with Cohear, we virtually met with a group of community members who have already been deeply affected - including restaurant owners, servers who have been laid off, healthcare workers and contract employees. We learned from them as they shared their situations, immediate needs and concerns. As we make recommendations about how to respond, their experiences will be top of mind. We will be meeting with those most affected by the economic-side of this issue frequently so we can understand how community needs are evolving.
- Holly Hankinson, our Advocacy Director, presented on a call with Senator Sherrod Brown last week about the need to extend paid time off to more workers during this crisis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 30% of the lowest wage earners have access to paid sick leave, compared to 93% of the highest wage workers. It is critically important that sick workers don’t go to work, but many rely on that paycheck to put food on the table. It’s a choice that families should not have to make and we are addressing it through our advocacy efforts.
- We are also providing up-to-minute policy research and recommendations for our community leaders and elected officials to help inform their decision making.